Editor's nook...

Characters, Part 1


  A housekeeping note: This week, I went browsing through the entire Siege of Avalon web site. There are a few screenshots in the Gallery, and a bit of the story.. Moreover, I noticed that when you guys ask questions, they get answered and the FAQ gets updated. I’ve also asked Digital Tome to toss up a message board or a forum, they said it will be coming in the near future.

  OK. I’ve titled this week’s selection as “Characters Part I” because I didn’t get to meet the person responsible for CharacterLAB and I’m sure there’s lots more that can be said about characters. Instead, I got to talk with Van Collins, Creative Director, and see the player character and a few of the approximately 300 distinct NPC’s that populate Avalon.

  The player character is a young male soldier on the side of Avalon. The citadel’s been under an eight month siege and supplies are running low. Outside, the murderous Sha’ahoul army awaits. As the player character, you’ve got to break that blockade. That’s one of your main obstacles.

  In the upcoming much larger game, Pillars of Avalon, there’ll be more flexibility concerning the player character (including gender selection), but since Siege is the pilot release, that’s your guy.

  Since you’re a soldier, you start off with the standard armor and weapons. If you find better armor and/or weapons, great, but if you’re out of luck, you can rank up and requisition better gear.

  For each mission objective, you gain “training points.” You can use these training points to increase any one of your attributes (such as Mysticism, which helps in spell-casting) or save them up for a title. With a nice title, you’ll get all the privileges that comes with it.

  You don’t get training points for experience or for blowing away half-orcs (unless it fulfills the objective in the story). If you decide to be a psychopath and mow down innocents in the castle, nope, no points.

  Unlike some RPG’s, your character in Siege isn’t limited in career choice. Say, he has a mid-life crisis and decides he should have been a Wizard, all he has to do is start working on his Wizard-promoting attributes.

  Depending on what you want, the player character can be a great Warrior, a Wizard, or maybe a Scout, a person who combines some Warrior and Wizard abilities with the sneakiness of a thief. The only thing he can’t be is a great Warrior AND Wizard cuz the better armor puts a damper on the spell-casting. That’s the trade-off.

  Every thing or person you can interact with will be highlighted with a color when your pointing device brushes over it. The five categories are: magic/weapons (such as amulets and swords), inanimate (doorways), perceived indifference, perceived friendliness, and perceived hostility.

  If you start getting friendly with a NPC, I suppose the NPC’s aura would change from perceived indifference to perceived friendliness.

  Also, you might want to recruit some allies. When you do, you have the option of assuming full control of any member of your Party, or just let them do their own thing. In Pillars, if the other party members are other players, then obviously you can’t control them. The combat is real-time like Diablo ®.

  Just remember, though, Siege has a cast of hundreds. There’s ample opportunity for interaction. There’s something about two armies clashing that transcends mere story to the level of legend. I’m really anxious to learn more about the game.


listening to the Earthmen side project, Blindside, Summershine Rec’s)

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